Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has claimed that his government’s direct money transfer system under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana helped farmers purchase more than 3,000 new tractors since 21 May. He said the scheme will also result in a 7 per cent growth in the state’s GDP.
Baghel made these claims Thursday in Raipur, in the virtual presence of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and other leaders of the party, as he announced the transfer of Rs 1,737.5 crore to the bank accounts of farmers and also tribal workers engaged in collection of tendu leaves for bidi production.
Speaking about the impact of Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana on the state’s economy, Baghel claimed that the first instalment of Rs 1,500 crore released under the scheme on 21 May, at the launch of the scheme on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary, resulted in the purchase of 3,000 new tractors by farmers of the state.
“Purchasing power of farmers has increased after money is transferred directly to their bank accounts. This has enabled the farmers to invest in agricultural inputs even during the Covid crisis,” he said.
Thursday’s event was organised to mark the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.
Speaking about the scheme, Baghel said his government has given a message to other states how they can help people in times of need. “Such schemes are expected to accelerate the state’s GDP by more than 7 per cent. When people will have money, they will purchase more leading to creation of demand in the market. Increase in demand will lead to increase in supply and ultimately growth in GDP.”
Addressing the Congress leaders and state government officials, Rahul Gandhi said the Chhattisgarh government is working towards protecting the rights of the poor and needy. “Chhattisgarh has become a pioneer in doing work for the welfare of these sections, whether through its welfare schemes or direct money transfer to farmers. Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana is an exemplary scheme to support poor farmers at the time of crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
Aid under Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana
The money directly transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries Thursday included Rs 1,500 crore as the second instalment of the Rs 5,750-crore Kisaan Nyay Yojana, and Rs 232.81 crore to tribals against the procurement of minor forest produce from them. Apart from this, Rs 4.5 crore was transferred to the accounts of cow dung sellers under the Godhan Nyay Scheme, which the state government launched a month ago on 20 July.
On 21 May this year, the Chhattisgarh government launched the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana, which aims to help nearly 18.38 lakh farmers and ensure minimum income availability to them. The scheme is similar to the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) proposed by Rahul Gandhi in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The first instalment of Rs 1,500 crore paid on 21 May has so far helped paddy, sugarcane and maize farmers, according to sources.
The incentives worth Rs 232.81 crore announced Thursday are meant for 11.47 lakh workers, mainly tribals, engaged in the collection of tendu leaves (for making bidis) in 114 blocks of the state. The amount was paid to the beneficiaries against the produce procured from them in 2018.
Besides, Rs 4.5 crore was paid to cattle rearers against the dung collected at 3,205 government-sponsored cowsheds, known as gothans, between 2 August and 15 August. Nearly 64,000 of the 1.2 lakh cattle rearers in the state are to be benefited from this scheme, according to the government.
The amounts were credited to the beneficiary accounts two days after the Reserve Bank of India cleared a loan of Rs 1,300 crore that the Chhattisgarh government had applied for. According to sources in the state finance department, the government was in a fix over how to raise funds to meet its obligation towards farmers and tendu leaf collectors, but the RBI loan made things easier. The central government has allowed Chhattisgarh a credit limit of Rs 12,000 crore, which the state can raise to meet its requirements.